NASCAR Notebook: Cup Series Teams Experimenting In Desert With Aerodynamic Alterations

nascar ndw aero package short tracks (1)

NASCAR Cup Series teams will have a different feel during the weekend events at Phoenix Raceway.
About eight months before hosting the Championship 4 race, the one-mile desert track will be the site of an experiment.

Sunday’s United Rentals Work United 500 will be the Cup Series’ first outing with aerodynamic alterations to the platforms of the Next Gen machines. The set-up tweaks are part of a new rules package for road courses and short ovals.

Among the changes NASCAR officials mandated, teams were required to reduce the use of underneath downforce aerodynamic devices, like diffuser and engine panel strakes, and trim the rear spoiler. For road courses and ovals that measure 1.058-miles and shorter, the rear spoiler will be cut from a four-inch height to two.

The changes likely will result in the machines producing a 30-percent decrease in downforce, NASCAR Vice President of Vehicle Performance Dr. Eric Jacuzzi said, as reported by

Six Cup Series teams tested the new configurations during a two-day session at Phoenix in January.
To prepare for Sunday’s main event, Cup Series teams will be granted extra practice laps. A 50-minute practice session is scheduled for Friday night. Additional testing could be needed to earn a top-six starting spot.

Eight of the last nine race winners at Phoenix started in the front three rows.

William Byron Returning to Kyle Busch Motorsports

Coming off last Sunday’s Cup Series win at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, William Byron found additional work. 

The Hendrick Motorsports pilot will moonlight for Kyle Busch Motorsports and participate in three NASCAR Truck Series events. Returning to KBM, Byron will drive the No. 51 Chevrolet at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 8, at Darlington Raceway on May 12 and at the renovated North Wilkesboro Speedway on May 20. 

In 26 career Truck outings, Byron has eight wins and 17 top-10 finishes. When he was 18 years old in 2016, Byron won seven of 23 events. 

Hendrick Motorsports Plans $23.7M Manufacturing Facility

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Hendrick Motorsports is planning a $23.7 million expansion project that includes a new manufacturing facility.

According to WCNC-TV Charlotte, city officials from nearby Concord are expected to pass a one-year tax incentive, allowing the NASCAR franchise to break ground at the Cabarrus County site.

Hendrick officials are planning to construct a 269,500-square-foot complex that will house a “premier” manufacturing tenant, WCNC reported.

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